tmedia
Main content

Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Complete guide to your club's off-season

Staff writers  November 4, 2017 11:59 PM

AFL 2017 Training - Gold Coast 150817

A crucial pre-season looms for David Swallow and the Suns

Training return: The club's first-to-fourth year players will return to training on November 20, with the rest of the playing group coming back on December 4. The Crows will complete the majority of their pre-season in Adelaide.

Injury list: Brodie Smith (knee) is aiming to be back near the end of next season in his recovery from a torn ACL. Captain Taylor Walker had minor surgery on his finger and ankle, but is expected to recover in time for the start of training. Josh Jenkins has also had finger surgery, and is expected to available for the start of pre-season training. If he's retained on the rookie list, Cam Ellis-Yolmen (knee) will ramp up his training loads after missing all of last season.

Draft picks: 12, 39, 77, 109

Arrived: Bryce Gibbs, Sam Gibson.

Departed: Scott Thompson (retired), Jake Lever (traded to Melbourne), Charlie Cameron (traded to Brisbane Lions), Harrison Wigg (traded to Gold Coast), Dean Gore (delisted), Troy Menzel (delisted), Jono Beech (delisted), Sam Shaw (removed from rookie list).

Major off-field moves: There's been a couple of changes to Don Pyke's coaching panel. Premiership-winning defender Ben Hart returns to the club in an assistant coaching role after working in the media this year. Josh Francou is also back in South Australia after looking after Sydney's midfield. The Crows are yet to finalise their roles. David Teague has left the Crows to take up an assistant coaching role with Carlton, while Matthew Bode leaves the Crows' high-performance department to also join the Blues. Development coach, and former Crows skipper Nathan van Berlo, returns to Western Australia as part of Adam Simpson's staff at West Coast.

Round one: Essendon, Etihad Stadium, Friday night, 7.50pm.

Premiership odds: $5.50 (CrownBet)

We say: Expectations will be sky high on this year's beaten grand finalists after adding Carlton star Bryce Gibbs to an already quality side. Getting durable North Melbourne tagger Sam Gibson for next to nothing was a bonus. Losing Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron are significant blows, as is being without the injured Brodie Smith for most of the season, but the Crows will be banking on improvement from the likes of Wayne Milera, Alex Keath and Tom Doedee to fill those spots. With six of their first nine games at Adelaide Oval, the Crows have been given the perfect draw to get off to a flyer. - Lee Gaskin

Training return: The first-to-fourth year players – most of the Lions list – start back on Monday, November 6. The rest of the squad returns two weeks later. After last year's success, the Lions have another training camp planned for Tasmania in December, although the specifics are still to be released.

Injury list: The main concern is captain Dayne Beams, who had shoulder surgery immediately after his season finished. Beams is progressing well and coach Chris Fagan recently confirmed he would be back in full training prior to Christmas. After a wretched run with collarbone problems, Allen Christensen is fine to start pre-season training, as is Mitch Robinson, who missed the second half of last season with a broken foot.

Draft picks: 1, 15, 18, 40, 44, 52, 93

Arrived: Charlie Cameron, Luke Hodge

Departed: Claye Beams (delisted), Josh Clayton (delisted), Michael Close (delisted), Jono Freeman (delisted), Blake Grewar (delisted), Matthew Hammelmann (delisted), Cian Hanley (delisted), Ryan Harwood (delisted), Jarrad Jansen (delisted), Tom Rockliff (FA), Josh Schache (trade) Reuben William (delisted).

Major off-field moves: For the first time in a long time, the Lions have off-field stability. Coach Chris Fagan, footy manager David Noble and list manager Dom Ambrogio are all relatively new to their roles. Fagan has also kept the same coaching team that helped the Lions' steady improvement in 2017.

Round one: St Kilda, Etihad Stadium, Saturday, March 24, 3.35pm

Premiership odds: $126 (CrownBet)

We say: After a season of clear improvement under Fagan, a little more will be expected in 2018. Although they might not win many more games, the development of the Lions' young core will be closely monitored. Hodge's addition is huge for an inexperienced backline, while Cameron adds the speedy winger/small forward they've been crying out for. The Lions finally have some continuity, and while the older heads were terrific last season, the development of Harris Andrews, Eric Hipwood, Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry and Alex Witherden will ultimately determine how far the club goes next season. - Michael Whiting

Allen Christensen's return should bolster the Lions' midfield next year. Picture: AFL Photos

CAR-2L.jpg

Training return: The Blues' first-to-fourth-year players returned to training last Monday, with the full squad reuniting on the track on Monday, November 13.

Injury list: Midfielders Patrick Cripps (broken leg) and Ed Curnow (bruised larynx) have recovered from the injuries that ended their 2017 campaigns and will be right to start the pre-season. Ruckman Andrew Phillips, who had surgery on a recurring problem in his left foot, is expected to be back training this month. Veteran Sam Rowe is recovering from a ruptured ACL in his right knee and will be a late starter to full pre-season training.

Draft picks: 3, 10, 30, 73

Arrived: Matthew Kennedy, Darcy Lang, Matthew Lobbe, Aaron Mullett

Departed: Dennis Armfield (retired), Blaine Boekhorst (delisted), Dylan Buckley (delisted), Andrew Gallucci (delisted), Bryce Gibbs (Adelaide), Daniel Gorringe (retired), Kristian Jaksch (delisted), Matt Korcheck (retired), Rhys Palmer (delisted), Ciaran Sheehan (delisted), Billie Smedts (delisted), Simon White (delisted), Liam Sumner (delisted)

Major off-field moves: Carlton is looking for a new CEO after the resignation of Steven Trigg last month. The club’s 2004 club best and fairest winner, David Teague, has returned as an assistant coach after a stint under Don Pyke at the Crows and he will be joined by Cameron Bruce, who worked with Brendon Bolton at Hawthorn and will be his senior assistant. Brent Stanton and Jason Davenport have joined the Blues as development coaches. Andrew Walker has moved on as the club’s development and integration coach to return home to Echuca and become its playing coach in the Goulburn Valley league.

Round one: Richmond, MCG, Thursday, March 22, 7.25pm

Premiership odds: $67 (CrownBet)

We say: The 'reset' under Bolton has continued at breakneck speed with 13 changes to the list since the end of the season, making a total of 42 since he took over as senior coach. While the loss of the experienced Gibbs may cause short-term pain, the Blues have attempted to boost their midfield stocks with the recruitment of Kennedy and Lang and are likely to use their No.3 draft pick on another midfielder. Carlton's fixture has been kind with a return to Broadway, being given four Friday night games and the traditional Thursday night blockbuster against Richmond to open the season. This presents a big challenge from early on, with the scrutiny sure to be intense on everyone involved. Off the field, the major focus is finding a replacement for Trigg. - Howard Kotton

Training return: The Magpies' first-to-fourth-year players will resume on November 8, while the more experienced players are due back on November 20. They will hold a training camp on the Gold Coast in early January and their community camp in February will take them to Victoria's La Trobe Valley and the Northern Territory.

Injury list: No real issues at this stage for the Pies, which is a welcome change compared to previous seasons. Jordan De Goey underwent season-ending hip surgery in August but is back training, as is Travis Varcoe, who had an operation to repair a dislocated elbow in July, while skipper Scott Pendlebury's fractured finger has healed well enough for him to be available for the 2017 Virgin Australia International Rules Series. Daniel Wells is said to be in good shape to attack the pre-season – a far cry from his condition when he arrived at the club last year – which the Pies hope will help safeguard him against further soft-tissue injuries.

Draft picks: 6, 38, 56, 61, 70, 80, 98

Arrived: Sam Murray (Sydney)

Departed: Lachie Keeffe (delisted), Adam Oxley (delisted), Jackson Ramsay (delisted), Ben Sinclair (retired), Jesse White (retired), Liam Mackie (delisted), Mitch McCarthy (delisted), Henry Schade (delisted)

Major off-field moves: Following an extensive internal review, the Pies have embraced change and injected fresh ideas, and there's more to come. Under-siege coach Nathan Buckley, who was given a new two-year deal at season's end, will lead a revamped coaching panel that includes incoming assistants Garry Hocking (stoppages and opposition coach) and Justin Longmuir (backline and team defence), and development coach Matthew Boyd. Former assistant Scott Burns has joined Hawthorn while development coach Anthony Rocca wasn't offered another contract. Fitness boss Bill Davoren has been replaced by Kevin White, an Irishman whose previous job title at the club was sports scientist. Player manager Ned Guy has been hired to fill the new role of list and strategy manager, and former list manager Derek Hine has become national recruiting manager. The club's 2010 premiership captain Nick Maxwell has returned as leadership and culture manager and looms as a key appointment. The Pies are still yet to replace former CEO Gary Pert, who resigned in July after 10 years in the job. The interim CEO is Peter Murphy, the former board member who conducted a review of the club's administration.

Round one: Hawthorn, MCG, Saturday, March 24, 7.25pm

Premiership odds: $26 (CrownBet)

We say: Despite another tough start to the season, with games against five of this year's finallists (including all top-four teams) in the opening eight rounds, the Pies won't be able to use the fixture as an excuse given their double-up opponents comprise three bottom-six clubs and just two from the top 12. A fifth season in a row without finals would indeed be disastrous. Young gun Darcy Moore will be trialled at centre half-back in what should prove a great learning experience for when he presumably returns to the forward line. He'll need to stand up given the Pies could be left light on for key defenders after axing Schade and Keeffe. Pacy, ball-carrying backmen are also in short supply so don't be surprised if untried ex-Swan Murray becomes a pre-season bolter. – Ben Collins 

Adam Treloar and Taylor Adams remain elite, but can the rest of the Pies lift? Picture: AFL Photos

Training return: The first-to-fourth-year players at Essendon will return to the club on November 13 before heading on a training camp in Darwin. The senior players, who have been at the club five years or longer, will be back on November 27.

Injury list: Michael Hurley had two post-season surgeries – on his wrist and hip – and is set to be on a restricted training program when the pre-season gets underway for senior players. They were issues he had throughout his All Australian year but waited until the end of the season to repair. Josh Green had surgery on his foot after a late-season injury, while David Myers underwent further surgery on a finger injury from the start of the year. Matthew Leuenberger had off-season shoulder surgery and will start pre-season on a limited program, but Ben McNeice (neck) and Jackson Merrett (broken leg) should be ready to go.

Draft picks: 48, 67, 85, 103

Arrived: Adam Saad, Devon Smith, Jake Stringer

Departed: Craig Bird (delisted), Yestin Eades (delisted), Heath Hocking (delisted), Ben Howlett (delisted), James Kelly (retired), Alex Morgan (delisted free agent), Brent Stanton (retired), Jobe Watson (retired)

Major off-field moves: Football manager Rob Kerr announced last week he was leaving the Bombers later in the year having guided the club through its turbulent few seasons. Assistant coach Guy McKenna has departed already for a role in cricket after a restructure of the club's coaching department, while former player James Kelly has moved into a coaching position having retired at the end of the season.

Round one: Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, Friday, March 23

Premiership odds: $15 (CrownBet)

We say: All eyes will be on the Bombers over pre-season after a busy and fruitful Trade Period that will see plenty of expectation for a rise up the ladder next year. With former captain Jobe Watson retired, and a number of other senior players also departing the club, the Bombers have a new look to them next year as they attempt to go better than their elimination final defeat in 2017. - Callum Twomey

Training return: A group of first-to-fourth-year players who did not play WAFL finals will start their pre-season on November 6. Other young players in that bracket who did play on with Peel Thunder will return on November 13. The rest of the squad will be back in training on November 20.

Injury list: The Dockers were able to send a number of players in for early surgeries, meaning they will be back for day one of the pre-season. Connor Blakely (dislocated shoulder), Ed Langdon (knee) and Brady Grey (hamstring) were all in this boat, finishing the season early to seek treatment. Alex Pearce progressed well in his recovery from a broken leg and had a big off-season program planned.   

Draft picks: 2, 5, 42, 60, 66, 71, 79, 83, 97

Arrived: Nathan Wilson, Brandon Matera

Departed: Harley Balic (trade), Zac Clarke (delisted), Sam Collins (delisted), Hayden Crozier (trade), Zac Dawson (retired), Josh Deluca (delisted), Jonathon Griffin (delisted), Garrick Ibbotson (retired), Nick Suban (delisted), Matthew Uebergang (delisted), Lachie Weller (trade), Shane Yarran (retired)

Major off-field moves: Stoppages coordinator Mark Stone did not seek a new contract. Tendai Mzungu has returned as the inaugural coach of the club's Next Generation Academy. University professor Colleen Hayward AM joined the board, while Peter Bell was ratified for a second full term. 

Round one: Port Adelaide, Adelaide Oval, Saturday, March 24, 4:05pm

Premiership odds: $51 (CrownBet)

We say: The list management group, led by Brad Lloyd, turned a potential disaster into a big win for the club when Lachie Weller requested a trade to Gold Coast. The Dockers landed pick No.2 in that deal and it's now up to the club to nail its first two picks at No.2 and No.5 in the NAB AFL Draft. The fixture was a mixed bag, with a bonus home game and four of six matches to start the season at Perth Stadium. A difficult run of opponents in the first two months, however, looms as a big mountain to climb for a young group in 2018. - Nathan Schmook

Connor Blakely suffered a dislocated shoulder late in the season. Picture: AFL Photos

Training return: The first-to-fourth year year players are due back on November 20, with the rest of the list to resume on Monday, December 4. They have no training camps planned at this stage, with the brunt of their program to be held in the Geelong region. 

Injury list: Cory Gregson (foot) and Lincoln McCarthy (groin/hip) were running in October with an eye to starting pre-season on time with the main group. Gregson hasn't played since the middle of 2016 while McCarthy didn't return after round three this season. Quinton Narkle is also back running after a June knee reconstruction and is aiming for a summer program that focuses on an April return.    

Draft picks: 22, 24, 35, 58, 72, 90, 108

Arrived: Gary Ablett

Departed: Josh Cowan (delisted), Matthew Hayball (delisted), Darcy Lang (traded to Carlton), Tom Lonergan (retired), Andrew Mackie (retired), Steven Motlop (free agency to Port Adelaide), Tom Ruggles (delisted)

Major off-field moves: A bit has gone on at the Cattery recently. Football manager Steve Hocking went to AFL HQ, which prompted a football department restructure and the internal appointment of Simon Lloyd to the role of director of football. Michael Poulton, former AFL competition and stakeholder manager, has been appointed as elite performance and development manager to work alongside Lloyd, and they're currently without a permanent chief commercial officer after Justin Reeves left to take up the role of Hawthorn CEO. There's stability at the very top though, with CEO Brian Cook signing on to continue in his role until the end of 2020.

Round one: Melbourne, MCG, Sunday, March 25, 3.20pm

Premiership odds: $9 (CrownBet)

We say: They won't be able to use the draw as a cause of poor form; it's very friendly, with nine games at their home fortress and six straight games in Victoria to end the season. Their hot midfield combination of Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield will bond during the International Rules series in November, and they'll start pre-season training with nearly everyone on the park. There's been just the one on-field arrival so far, but it's a doozy – the return of Ablett and just how he'll fit in has everyone talking in Geelong, and many bullish about their prospects despite the loss of 489 games of backline experience with the retirements of Tom Lonergan and Andrew Mackie. – Jennifer Phelan. 

Training return: The Suns' first-to-fourth year players will return on Monday, November 6. The senior players will return two weeks later on November 20. There is no pre-season training camp scheduled, but the Suns will have to move their training base to nearby Bond University in early March when the Commonwealth Games closes in on their Metricon Stadium precinct.

Injury list: The list is in good shape, with key position player Sam Day back running after the horrific dislocated hip injury that wiped out his 2017. Day will progress slowly through the pre-season. Michael Barlow is back running at full strength after his broken leg and co-captain Tom Lynch will put in a full pre-season after a knee injury interrupted him late season.

Draft picks: 19, 41, 50, 54, 76, 94

Arrived: Lachie Weller, Harrison Wigg, Aaron Young

Departed: Gary Ablett (trade), Keegan Brooksby (delisted), Dan Currie (delisted), Ryan Davis (delisted), Jarrad Grant (delisted), Mitch Hallahan (delisted), Cameron Loersch (delisted), Brandon Matera (trade), Trent McKenzie (DFA), Adam Saad (trade), Matt Shaw (delisted), Mackenzie Willis (delisted).

Major off-field moves: The biggest move came with the appointment of coach Stuart Dew, who gets his first coaching job to replace Rodney Eade. Dew has brought George Stone with him from the Sydney Swans who will oversee the coaching department. Shaun Hart has also returned to the Suns after four years at Port Adelaide as the head of development. The club is still looking to appoint a replacement for Marcus Ashcroft as the general manager of football.

Round one: North Melbourne, Cazaly's Stadium (Cairns), Saturday, March 24, 6.25pm

Premiership odds: $151 (CrownBet)

We say: A huge year coming up for Gold Coast as it tries to gain credibility in the competition. Dew's appointment gives them a fresh face in charge, and after a long apprenticeship at the Swans, you can expect to see a harder edge in both their pre-season and playing style. No Gary Ablett for the first time in club history, but the Suns will still be in the headlines with co-captain Lynch the biggest free agent name in the game. The raw talent is there to be competitive, but just how they gel under Dew will be intriguing. - Michael Whiting 

Training return: After reaching the preliminary final for the second-straight year, the Giants' first-to-fourth year players aren't due back until Monday, November 20. The older players will come back two weeks later on December 4.

Injury list: The major concern for the Giants is All Australian midfielder Dylan Shiel who had a shoulder operation in the off-season. Shiel will come back on a modified program that should not hinder him too much. Toby Greene broke his toe last week, but the clever half-forward won't miss any of the pre-season. New recruit Lachie Keeffe is expected to begin his pre-season program with the young players in two weeks.

Draft picks: 11, 27, 28, 57, 65, 89, 107

Arrived: Lachie Keeffe

Departed: Tom Downie (retired), Steve Johnson (retired), Matthew Kennedy (traded), Shane Mumford (retired), Tendai Mzungu (retired), Sam Reid (delisted), Devon Smith (traded), Nathan Wilson (traded)

Major off-field moves: Nothing major, but a few positions in the coaching ranks have been shuffled. Brad Miller has gone from the club's NEAFL coach to an assistant role, with former Saint and Swan Adam Schneider coming on board to take Miller's place as the reserves coach. Shane Mumford has gone straight from retirement into a part-time ruck coaching role to replace Dean Brogan.

Round one: Western Bulldogs, UNSW Canberra Oval, Sunday, March 25, 1.10pm

Premiership odds: $6.50 (CrownBet)

We say A quiet off-season for the Giants, but when you've made back-to-back prelims, that's not a bad thing. The loss of Devon Smith, Nathan Wilson and Matthew Kennedy during the trade period will hurt the depth, but not their overall chances of winning a premiership in 2018. Injuries to Dylan Shiel and Toby Greene are not long-lasting. With some believing the 'premiership window' isn't as open as it once was, what the Giants do during pre-season will be of great interest. - Michael Whiting

Time is running out for Heath Shaw to claim a flag with the Giants. Picture: AFL Photos

Training return: Many of the Hawks have been living it up overseas on holiday over the off-season, but most of them are home now and ready to prepare for season 2018. The first-to-fourth-year players will return to Waverley on November 6, with the rest of the team to hit the track on November 20.

Injury list: Most of the injured Hawks from last season should be right for day one of pre-season. Star Hawk Cyril Rioli missed the second half of the 2017 season with a knee injury, but is ready to go. Defender Grant Birchall had knee surgery in August, and while he has been on his own training program, he isn't likely to join his teammates on the track until December. Young midfielder James Cousins will have a delayed start to pre-season, the 19-year-old has resumed running after shoulder surgery, but is more likely to start full training post-Christmas.

Draft picks: 43, 68, 75, 81, 99

Arrived: Jarman Impey

Departed: Josh Gibson (retired), Luke Hodge (traded to Lions), Billy Hartung (delisted), Kade Stewart (delisted), Dallas Willsmore (delisted), Jack Fitzpatrick (retired), Luke Surman (retired)

Major off-field moves: The biggest off-field move was the return of outspoken president Jeff Kennett. The former Victorian Premier was approached by the board to return following the resignation of Richard Garvey over the bungled CEO appointment. Kennett took no time in appointing Justin Reeves as chief executive to replace Tracey Gaudry, who was in the job for just five months. As for the football department, former Magpie Scott Burns and ex-Eagle Darren Glass have joined the Hawks as assistant coaches.

Round one: Collingwood, MCG, 7:25pm

Premiership odds: $26 (CrownBet)

We say: Let Jaeger watch begin. Many Hawthorn fans view the midfielder as the great white hope, but in his first year, his troublesome knee had anxiety levels at an all-time high. But after the final game of 2017, Hawks fans were buoyed to see O'Meara up and running, and looking fit. The ex-Sun needs a big pre-season to catapult himself into 2018. The brown and gold faithful, as well as Hawthorn's football department, will have all their fingers and toes crossed that he gets through unscathed. O'Meara aside, the new-old president Kennett will be one to keep an eye on. He has had a robust relationship in the past with coach Alastair Clarkson, and isn't afraid to say what he thinks, especially when it comes to the issue of Tasmania and the AFL. - Nat Edwards 

Training return: The first-to-fourth year players resume on Monday, November 6, with the rest – except draftees – returning on Monday, November 20. The Demons will again hold their pre-season training camp in Maroochydore in January.

Injury list: Co-captain Jack Viney (foot), Dean Kent (shoulder), Tim Smith (navicular bone) and Aaron vandenBerg (heel) will be in the rehab group up to Christmas. Swingman Tom McDonald (ankles) is on a running program and will be integrated into the main group in late December, while Pat McKenna (hamstring) will start on a modified program and Lochie Filipovic will rehab interstate before returning in December. Jesse Hogan (hamstring) will be in the main group from November 20.

Draft picks: 29, 31, 36, 47, 84, 102

Arrived: Harley Balic (traded from Fremantle), Jake Lever (traded from Adelaide)

Departed: Colin Garland (retired), Liam Hulett (delisted), Ben Kennedy (delisted), Heritier Lumumba (retired), Jake Spencer (delisted), Jack Trengove (delisted), Jack Watts (traded to Port Adelaide), Mitch White (delisted)

Major off-field moves: Jade Rawlings is the Casey Demons' new senior coach, taking over from Justin Plapp, who becomes an assistant with Melbourne's AFL side. Recently retired defender Colin Garland is also moving into various coaching roles at the club, including with the AFL team, Next Generation Academy and AFL Women's, as well as being the VFLW Casey Demons' inaugural senior coach. Melbourne also appointed Peter Maynard as Casey's general manager of football, a role where he will oversee the VFL, VFLW and NGA programs.

Round one: Geelong, MCG, Sunday, March 25, 3.20pm AEDT

Premiership odds: $16 (CrownBet)

We say: The time is now for the Demons, who last played finals in 2006 and missed the 2017 post-season by just 0.5 per cent after a disappointing round 23 loss to Collingwood. Jake Lever's addition will strengthen an already solid defence, and their talented young crop – including Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, Angus Brayshaw, Sam Weideman, Jesse Hogan and Jayden Hunt – should be ready to go to another level. The lack of Thursday and Friday night exposure (only one match) is a disappointment, but six of Melbourne's first seven matches are in Victoria and it doesn't have back-to-back six-day breaks or interstate travel. – Marc McGowan

Jesse Hogan's luck must surely turn around in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

Training return: The first-to-fourth year Roos left for a two-week training camp in Utah last Friday, October 27. The high-altitude program will include hikes, time trials, interval training, skills sessions, cross-training and weights at the United States Ski and Snowboard Association centre. The rest of North's list will resume training in Melbourne on Monday, November 13.

Injury list: Ben Jacobs (foot) and Sam Wright (foot/ankle) will start the pre-season on modified programs as they bid to overcome the lingering injuries that have dogged them the past two seasons. Marley Williams (back) and Jack Ziebell (toe) will also be on restricted programs initially, while second-year defender Declan Watson is continuing his rehabilitation after rupturing his left anterior cruciate ligament in late July. In better news for the Kangaroos, Jy Simpkin (ankle), Nathan Hrovat (ankle), Ryan Clarke (shoulder) and Ben Brown (elbow) should be right to go from day one after minor post-season operations, along with Paul Ahern (knee), Ed Vickers-Willis (knee), Mitchell Hibberd (shoulder), Jamie Macmillan (finger) and Mason Wood (calf).

Draft picks: 4, 23, 64, 78, 91, 96

Arrived: Alex Morgan

Departed: Will Fordham (delisted), Sam Gibson (traded to Adelaide), Lachlan Hansen (delisted), Aaron Mullett (delisted free agency to Carlton), Matthew Taylor (delisted), Lindsay Thomas (delisted), Corey Wagner (delisted)

Major off-field moves: Brad Scott's coaching team will have a different look in 2018 following the departures of assistant Brad Green (defence) and part-time ruck coach Alex Ishchenko, with coaching director Darren Crocker set to assume a line role again and oversee the Roos' ruckmen. North is also redeveloping its Arden St headquarters, largely in preparation for its entry into the VFL next season.

Round one: Gold Coast, Cazalys Stadium, Saturday, March 24, 6.25pm (AEST)

Premiership odds: $126 (CrownBet)

We say: The Kangaroos have continued their list regeneration, waving goodbye to veterans Gibson, 31, Thomas, 29, and Hansen, 29, while contracted former skipper Andrew Swallow, 30, remains a chance to join Gold Coast as a rookie. Many are predicting North's 2018 season will be one of doom and gloom, but don't be surprised if they exceed expectations. Champion Data has rated their fixture as the second easiest in the competition, while the Roos are confident of improving on their largely competitive 2017, especially if they have a better run with injury and can welcome back senior regulars Jacobs and Wright. There is also significant scope for development in youngsters such as Jy Simpkin, Braydon Preuss, Sam Durdin, Daniel Nielson, Ben McKay, Nick Larkey and Josh Williams, while North has big hopes for forgotten former Giant Ahern and should snare an exciting player with its No.4 draft pick. – Nick Bowen

Training return: The Power's first-to-fourth year players return to training on Monday, November 20, while the remainder of the group come back a week later on November 27. As they did last year, the Power will stay around Adelaide for their pre-season.

Injury list: Star forward Robbie Gray could miss the start of pre-season training after having chemotherapy as part of his treatment for testicular cancer. Defender Jack Hombsch (hip) and ruckman Billy Frampton (shoulder) both had surgery in August.

Draft picks: 46, 49, 59, 62, 63, 86, 95, 104

Arrived: Trent McKenzie, Steven Motlop, Tom Rockliff, Jack Trengove, Jack Watts.

Departed: Brendon Ah Chee (traded to West Coast), Logan Austin (traded to St Kilda), Brett Eddy (delisted), Jarman Impey (traded to Hawthorn), Nathan Krakouer (retired), Angus Monfries (retired), Matthew Lobbe (traded to Carlton), Jesse Palmer (delisted), Jackson Trengove (signed as a free agent with the Western Bulldogs), Matthew White (delisted), Aaron Young (traded to Gold Coast).

Major off-field moves: The Power's playing list has changed dramatically, but the coaching staff has remained relatively stable. The only changes are the departure of development coach Jacob Surjan and SANFL reserves coach Mark Clayton. Ian McKeown will oversee his first pre-season after taking over as the club's head of high performance midway through the year when Darren Burgess joined EPL heavyweight Arsenal.

Round one: Fremantle at Adelaide Oval, Saturday, 4.05pm.

Premiership odds: $10 (CrownBet)

We say: The Power have pushed all their chips into the middle and are making a big push at winning the club's first premiership since 2004. Their top 22 is stronger with the additions of Tom Rockliff, Steven Motlop and Jack Watts, but a few injuries – something they didn't have much of this year – could put their depth to the test after losing several experienced back-ups to other clubs during the Trade Period. It's a gamble, but one definitely worth taking as the Power aim to be a genuine premiership contender. - Lee Gaskin

Port Adelaide has brought in the cavalry to help Paddy Ryder. Picture: AFL Photos

Training return: The Tigers' first-to-fourth-year players return on November 27, with the rest back on December 4. Vice-captain Jack Riewoldt has already been spotted at the club completing running sessions four weeks after the club's premiership triumph.

Injury list: Daniel Rioli suffered a broken foot in the Grand Final and was in a moon boot. He is expected to start running after the Christmas. Nathan Drummond was the Tigers' only injury concern going into the decider and is more than five months into his recovery from a knee reconstruction. He was running well early in his rehab.

Draft picks: 17, 20, 25, 53, 55, 74, 92, 110

Arrived: Nil

Departed: Jake Batchelor (delisted), Todd Elton (delisted), Taylor Hunt (delisted), Ben Lennon (delisted), Ivan Maric (retired), Steven Morris (delisted), Chris Yarran (retired) 

Major off-field moves: Nil

Round one: Carlton, MCG, Thursday, March 22, 7:25pm

Premiership odds: $8.00 (CrownBet)

We say: It's been a settled off-season as far as player/off-field movement for the premiers after they found a mix that works. The Trade Period was about positioning strategically to land father-son prospect Patrick Naish in the NB AFL Draft, while retaining strong picks for two other players. Two pick swaps, with Geelong and the Brisbane Lions, achieved this. The Tigers couldn't avoid controversy, however, after premiership defender Nathan Broad distributed a photo of a topless woman without her permission during the aftermath of the Grand Final. He was suspended by the club for the first three home and away games of 2018. - Nathan Schmook 

Dylan Grimes and the Tigers are enjoying this off-season as premiers. Picture: AFL Photos

Training return: First-to-fourth-year players are back at the club on Wednesday, November 8, then will go to Yea for a training camp on the Thursday and Friday. The rest of the list returns on Monday, November 20.

Injury list: Young gun Jade Gresham had adductor release surgery at the end of the season but is expected to be well and truly back into his running program by Christmas. Onballer Koby Stevens carried a groin injury throughout the year and had surgery at season's end but should not be delayed too much. Key defender Hugh Goddard will be fit for the start of pre-season after having a toe on his right foot operated on in June. David Armitage (groin) and Nathan Wright (ankle) will have limited workloads when they return to Seaford.

Draft picks: 7, 8, 34, 45

Arrived: Logan Austin

Departed: Joe Baker-Thomas (delisted), Nick Coughlan (delisted), Sean Dempster (retired), Jason Holmes (delisted), Leigh Montagna (retired), Nick O'Kearney (delisted), Lewis Pierce (delisted), Nick Riewoldt (retired)

Major off-field moves: Ameet Bains will leave a big hole when he crosses to the Western Bulldogs as their new chief executive officer in December. He was the chief operating officer and general counsel at the Saints, and had a big hand in list management, so will be tough to replace. The coaching panel was beefed up with Henry Playfair joining as an assistant coach and Ben Dixon brought in to improve the goalkicking, while ruck coach Adam Skrobalak will have less contact hours, having taken on the head coaching role at Frankston. Aaron Hamill will take over Lindsay Gilbee's role as coach of Sandringham, with the former Bulldog moving into a development position.

Round one: Brisbane Lions, Etihad Stadium, Saturday, March 24, 3.35pm

Premiership odds: $34 (CrownBet)

We say: Next season looms as a crunch year in Alan Richardson's coaching reign. Despite having signed a contract to stay at the club until the end of 2020, St Kilda needs to start delivering on the field, not having made finals since 2011. A relatively tough fixture will make that difficult, so its goalkicking will need to improve over the off-season after inaccuracy spread through the team last year. The Saints weren't able to nab Josh Kelly or a similarly classy ball user through the NAB AFL Trade Period so will lean on the likes of Jack Billings and Jade Gresham to add their impeccable foot skills to the midfield. - Dinny Navaratnam 

SYD-5-strap.jpg.jpeg

Training return: The first-to-fourth-year players return on Monday, November 20, while the rest of the list will be back a fortnight later on Monday, December 4.

Injury list: A couple of key forwards have gone under the knife. Kurt Tippett will not start running until December after having left ankle surgery but the Swans expect him to be available for round one. Superstar Lance Franklin also had an ankle operation but his was less significant than Tippett's. A combination of the operation and his 13 years in the system means the Swans will take a conservative approach and manage his workload until the end of the year.

Draft picks: 14, 33, 51, 88

Arrived: Nil

Departed: Shaun Edwards, Sam Fisher, Brandon Jack, Alex Johnson, Tyrone Leonardis, Jeremy Laidler, Sam Murray, Michael Talia.

Major off-field moves: There has been a shake-up in the coaching ranks, with senior assistant coach Stuart Dew taking over at Gold Coast. Another of John Longmire's highly respected aides has moved on, with Henry Playfair going to St Kilda, while Josh Francou left for a job at Adelaide. On the other hand, retired champion Steve Johnson and former Swans Tadhg Kennelly and Jeremy Laidler have taken roles on the coaching panel. Rhyce Shaw has been promoted from NEAFL coach to become an assistant, while Nick Davis will work closely with the academy.

Round one: West Coast, Perth Stadium, Sunday, March 25, 4.20pm

2018 premiership odds: $5.50 (CrownBet)

We say: Sydney being bundled out in the semi-finals was surprising to most football watchers but it was perhaps understandable, considering the toll of having to recover from a 0-6 start. A proud club, Sydney will be determined to go better in 2018. Losing a lot of coaching nous will take some negotiating for John Longmire but his side is nevertheless well placed considering the core of elite players at his disposal. Making sure those stars stay on the park is the crucial part, although a healthy dose of luck is needed to achieve that, as shown when Dane Rampe broke an arm ahead of round two this year after tripping over a chain while going for a run. - Dinny Navaratnam

Josh Kennedy and the Swans will be hoping for a faster start in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

Training return: The Eagles' first-to-fourth-year players are back on November 20, with fifth-year players returning on December 4.

Injury list: Nic Naitanui underwent a minor arthroscope on his reconstructed left knee but is back into full rehabilitation training. Club champion Elliot Yeo (hip soreness) and veteran Mark LeCras (ankle surgery) are also on managed workloads before Christmas. Full-back Eric Mackenzie underwent minor toe surgery.

Draft picks: 13, 21, 26, 32, 37, 69, 87, 105

Arrived: Brendon Ah Chee

Departed: Paddy Brophy (retired), Sam Butler (retired), Jonathan Giles (retired), Tom Gorter (delisted), Josh Hill (delisted), Tom Lamb (delisted), Sam Mitchell (retired), Drew Petrie (retired), Matt Priddis (retired), Jordan Snadden (delisted), Simon Tunbridge (delisted), Sharrod Wellingham (delisted)

Major off-field moves: Senior assistant Justin Longmuir (Collingwood) and midfield and stoppages coach Dean Cox (Sydney) have each departed for news clubs. Sam Mitchell has joined the coaching team after retiring, and Nathan van Berlo has crossed from Adelaide. The pair will share midfield duties, with Adrian Hickmott to take on a new line.    

Round one: Sydney, Perth Stadium, Sunday, March 25, 4:20pm

Premiership odds: $34.00 (CrownBet)

We say: One of the quietest clubs during the Trade Period, West Coast targeted picks inside the top 50 to help replenish its list through the NAB AFL Draft. A final-day deal with Gold Coast landed them those desired picks, but it came at the cost of their positioning in the 2018 draft. Twelve players have departed, making this is a period of transition for the club as it reshapes its list. Fresh voices in the coaching team will be a positive, coming at the cost of experience. - Nathan Schmook 

Training return: The first-to-fourth-year players return on November 9, while the rest of the list resumes on November 20.

Injury list: Midfielder Lin Jong is expected to have a delayed start to full pre-season training after an ACL tear sustained back in June. Delisted rookie Roarke Smith, who will be redrafted onto the rookie list, should be right to go from day one after his knee reconstruction in March.

Draft picks: 9, 16, 82

Arrived: Hayden Crozier, Josh Schache, Jackson Trengove

Departed: Matthew Boyd (retired), Stewart Crameri (delisted), Travis Cloke (retired), Declan Hamilton (delisted), Robert Murphy (retired), Josh Prudden (delisted), Jake Stringer (traded to Essendon), Roarke Smith (delisted), Tristan Tweedie (delisted)

Major off-field moves: Despite rumblings that disharmony was rife throughout the club during their ill-fated flag defence, the Dogs have made few changes to their brains trust. The coaching panel under coach Luke Beveridge remains unchanged. The one major appointment was poaching St Kilda executive Ameet Bains to replace interim CEO Gary Kent.    

Round one: Greater Western Sydney, Canberra, Sunday, March 25, 1.10pm

Premiership odds: $23 (CrownBet)

We say: The Dogs are one of the great mysteries going into 2018, with it hard to gauge whether they can regain the form that took them to the flag just over 12 months ago. The additions of Trengove and Crozier should help fill holes in defence, while it will be fascinating to see how young and highly touted key forwards Tom Boyd and Josh Schache combine in attack. With Murphy and Boyd hanging up their boots, look for the dependable Easton Wood and superstar playmaker Marcus Bontempelli to assume joint captaincy. If the Dogs can recapture their mojo, a favourable draw should help them return to September action. - Ryan Davidson